Pregnancy Rights and Resources for Employees

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 prohibits discrimination based on pregancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions regarding employment.  The PDA, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, mandates equal access to employment benefits such as medical leave and health insurance.   Pregnancy discrimination is also prohibited by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1964, a law that protects students, faculty and staff from gender-related discrimination.  Laws prohibiting disability-discrimination may also protect pregnant employees, to the extent those employees have conditions arising from their pregnancy that constitute a disability.  

Employers may not:

  • Discriminate based on pregancy, pregnancy-related symptoms, disorders, complications requiring rest, and side effects of delivery;
  • Discriminate through disparate treatment, including but not limited to:
    • Singling out pregnancy related conditions for medical clearance procedures that a re not required of employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work;
    • Failing to allow pregnant women to work as long as they are able to perform the duties of their job;
    • Requiring an employee to remain on leave until the baby is born if she has been absent from work as a result of a pregnancy-related condition and recovers;
    • Failing to hold open a job for a pregnancy-related absence for the same length of time that jobs are held open for other disability leave;
    • Failing to extend disability leave or leave without pay to a pregnant employee who is temporarily disabled due to pregnancy.
    • Failing to provide accrual and crediting of leave hours or pay increases and temporary disability benefits to employees with pregnancy-related disabilities.

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees with a pregnancy-related disability or impariment.  For questions about reasonable accommodations, please contact the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.  For questions about FMLA, leave and other benefits, contact the Office of Human Resources.

To file a discrimination complaint, contact the Office of Compliance & Equity.